This course is an innovative collaboration between the Manchester School of Art and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University. It brings together students from creative and manufacturing backgrounds to foster original approaches to product and furniture design for manufacture whilst exploring personal philosophies and cultural contexts.
Supported by extensive hand, machine and digital workshops across a range of materials, you will investigate and challenge the application and use of materials and processes within making and manufacturing to embrace opportunities for innovation across a breadth of product and furniture design practices.
As part of the wider MA Design Network, a series of options units are delivered to enable you to further expand your creative agendas and design methodologies. Within these options, you can choose to develop design ambitions within a business context, through a unit delivered by the Manchester Metropolitan Business School, which cultivates project planning and management skills, raises understanding of markets and marketing opportunities, and highlights the financial factors and concerns that impact on production design decisions within a commercial manufacturing environment.
Features and Benefits
Graduates will develop theoretical and practical skills suitable for roles in design consultancy; design for engineering and manufacturing; design management; and design research for industry or academic research and teaching. The programme will also prepare graduates who wish to go on to self-employment, establishing and running their own design/manufacturing businesses.
Graduates will develop skills suitable for employment in design, and design management roles, in manufacturing and consultancy. Skills in research and contemporary design philosophies also lead to opportunities for roles in academic research and teaching.
The programme also prepares graduates for self-employment routes developing business knowledge in support of the challenges inherent in establishing and running your own product design and manufacturing business.
A minimum 2.2 UK honours degree in an art, engineering or business-related discipline is usually required. EU/international equivalents or equivalent usually professional qualifications, or unclassified degrees in engineering or product design with relevant professional experience are also accepted. Other equivalent qualifications will be considered on merit. In addition, you also need to submit a Digital Portfolio.
Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.
Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.
You will develop in-depth knowledge of design theories and philosophies, and cultivate advanced design and manufacturing skills. The options units further enhance personal creative design methodologies, with the business unit developing project planning and management skills, raising understanding of markets and marketing opportunities, and highlighting the financial factors and concerns that impact on production design decisions within a commercial manufacturing environment.
You will build a portfolio of projects that develop and resolve individual design philosophies and ambitions and are reflective of a range of professional practices that exist in contemporary design and manufacturing environments. In addition to the project work, you are required to reflect on your own development throughout the year via a personal online blog, and this acts as a key resource from which written submissions are developed.
The MA and MSc Design: Product and Furniture pathways are made up of five units totalling 180 credits.
Contextualising Design Practice
The unit develops and extends; knowledge of design practices within historical and contemporary contexts; the understanding of the personal and emotional value of objects and products within society; and promotes creative approaches to the use of materials and processes within manufacture and making. Theoretical and practical research projects initiate, develop and establish the identification of an individual design methodology, and personal professional ambition within the broad context of product design practices.
CUTE Values for Product Design
The unit extends the understanding of the complex and often conflicting requirements and constraints within the design of new products for industrial production.
Final Major Project Period
The final unit is an extended and self-initiated major project period that synthesises and resolves the learning of the MA/MSc programme. It resolves and locates the personal design methodology, and with the option of live external collaboration, it aligns the project work to an identified professional ambition.
Likely Optional Units
Commercial Aspects of Design
This unit includes topics such as market research and service design; consumer behaviour – needs and attitudes; diffusion of innovation; commercial aspects of product design including bringing the product to market eg production and distribution channels, costing and pricing, and advertising and promotion.
This unit will address the contested nature of the conceptual and material territories upon which human identities and cultures are developed.
This unit offers a focused opportunity for students to extend and enhance their practice by including, exploring and developing digital content in a wider research community.
Health and Wellbeing
This unit focuses on public health and wellbeing with an emphasis on Inequalities; Prevention; Promotion and Protection. By building on the strong legacy of art/design in clinical environments, this unit will expand your understanding of theory and practice in the emerging public health agenda and through real-life research opportunities, will offer exploration of individual practice in diverse contexts: eg mental health, long-term conditions, healthy ageing and proactive wellbeing.
The Museum and the City - The City as a Museum
The unit explores the relationship between the museum and the city and the city as a museum. Attention shifts between theoretical and historical models, as well as making use of specific locations and institutions within the city.
This unit offers you an individual focused opportunity to extend and enhance your practice by including a self-negotiated study. This will enable students to:
- Extend ideas and proposals developed in Practice 1
- Facilitate a deeper level of learning in a particular workshop or subject discipline, or conceptual paradigm
- Pursue an external project or competition brief appropriate to your practice.
Writing Research and Funding Proposals
An introduction to writing proposals to funding bodies such as the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Arts Council England (ACE). This unit will cover such topics as: generating fundable ideas; developing critical and conceptual frameworks; establishing credible methodologies and approaches; awareness of the the parameters of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, AHRC and ACE; the importance of collaboration; working in groups, public engagement and impact; presenting ideas to the group, giving and receiving informed criticism; developing an effective writing style; structuring proposals and writing to length; writing a budget and the importance of cost-effectiveness and match-funding; time management; familiarity with Je-S.
Images and Archives
This unit explores theoretical, critical and practical perspectives on art, photography and the archive.
You will learn about the interdisciplinary field of SciArt by developing a body of personal work that is technically proficient and intellectually resolved.
Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours
10 credits equate to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
- Full-time: 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 75% independent study
- Part-time: 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 75% independent study
- Full-time: 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
- Part-time: 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
Manchester School of Art
Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.
Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.
UK and EU Students
- UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
- UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Non-EU and Channel Island Students
- Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £2750 per 30 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
- Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.
A laptop is required for project research development, CAD work and presentations. It is advisable for students to have their own laptop, however, laptops are available for loan from the University. Camera for the recording of work and research trips (optional).
Optional research study trips to
- London Design Week (year 1 part-time)
- Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week (year 1 part-time)
- Milan Design Week (year 2 part-time)
There are no additional professional membership fees required for the full qualification.
There may be costs incurred for the prototyping and production of project work, however, this is dependent on each individual student project. Whilst participation in study trips is advisable, due to costs these remain an optional element of the programme. It is possible to carry out all research exercises within Manchester. Costs may be incurred for the manufacture and prototyping of project work. However, some of the processes and materials available within the Faculty of Science Engineering are covered within the fees (e.g., 3D printing, waterjet cutting, metal machine working). Materials and processes available within the faculty of Art Design are charged on a cost only basis.